Natrag Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes report on Spain

The Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has published today the report on its visit to Spain in January 2007, together with the response of the Spanish Government. Both documents have been made public at the request of the Spanish authorities.

The purpose of the visit was to examine the modalities of care and custody of José Ignacio DE JUANA CHAOS, a prisoner on hunger strike who, further to a judicial decision, was fed against his will while hospitalized.

The CPT does not believe that it is the Committee’s role to pronounce on the question whether it is right to force-feed a detained person on hunger strike. However, the Committee sets out in paragraph 14 of its report certain standards which should be met in the event that a decision is taken to force-feed a prisoner. The CPT states that force-feeding a prisoner without meeting those standards could very well amount to inhuman or degrading treatment.

In the particular case examined during the visit, the CPT formed the view that the various actors responsible for implementing the decision to force-feed the prisoner in question took into careful consideration the elements identified by the Committee.

The CPT report and the response of the Spanish Government are available on the Committee’s website ( )

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